Glasgow is buzzing with Ed’s Bees

Glasgow is buzzing with Ed’s Bees

Edward O’Brien

Life is sweet for Edward O’Brien, a self-taught bee-keeper and honey producer

With bee numbers in rapid decline, it’s predicted that a third of the nation’s natural diet could be wiped out through lack of pollination, so it’s good to know that some local heroes have got our backs. “I grew up with bees,” says Edward O’Brien, former licensing officer and self-taught bee keeper. “My mother kept them and so did many of our neighbours. When I took early retirement a friend offered me a colony and I began to get interested again.”

The bees thrived, and a few years on Ed finds himself overseeing and servicing a vast range of hives dotted around the city while running his own honey operation. It might seem strange that his “girls”, as Ed calls them, can forage so easily in built-up areas but there are lots of opportunities: “Glasgow has 90 parks, plus railway embankments, loads of blossom, flora and fauna.”

Ed now supplies local hotels, restaurants and cheese shops with a golden natural honey that isn’t pasteurised, heat treated or processed. His personal favourite is the lime blossom harvested in July. He even takes the girls on holiday to Ayrshire once a year where they forage heather and create a special kind of dark, smoky honey much loved by connoisseurs.